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Raja (Najat Benssallem) is a 19-year-old Moroccan girl. An orphan, she's led a difficult life, but has gotten off the streets and lives with her cousin Nadira (Ilham Abdelwahad) and her family. Raja and Nadira are happy to get low-paying jobs working in the garden of a wealthy middle-aged Frenchman, Fred (Pascal Greggory). Fred is immediately attracted to the new girl and the other girls tease Raja about his interest, encouraging her to go after his money. Fred discusses his growing infatuation with his two elderly cooks, Oum El Aid (Oum El Aid Ait Youss) and Zineb (Zineb Ouchita), who try… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An unsettling look at Third World politics in the guise of a love story."
‑ Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger
"Masterful tale of frustrated desire."
‑ Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
"Subtle filmmaking and true-as-life acting make this an acute psychological drama with an engrossing sociological subtext."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Raja is an engaging cross-cultural drama set in Morocco about a wealthy middle-aged Frenchman's yearning for a nineteen-year-old local girl who works in his garden."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Extremely well acted, though the direction by Jacques Doillon is on the leisurely side."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"What distinguishes Raja from every other movie to contemplate the treacherous intersection of passion, avarice and power is its unsettling emotional honesty."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Ambiguous and elusive, this film's soft-focus may strike a chord with those who do not look for clear spoon-fed answers."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"This story of a dissolute Frenchman who uses his money to exploit desperately poor Moroccan girls is upsetting because it pretends to be about love."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
"There's little to enjoy in this unsettling tale, but Doillan's unblinking depiction of manipulation and desperation stays with you long after the characters make the deals that seal their unjust fates."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"refreshing with its brutal and emotionally raw honesty"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Icky doings, with a miserably racist depiction of North Africans."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Once you remove all the economic and cultural baggage that frustrates the couple's attempts to hook-up, Raja is really just about the thrill of the chase."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Raja on Rotten Tomatoes

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